Retailer pioneers new technology that links print and online marketing

April 10, 2012 by  

One of the UK’s largest home shopping groups is working to bridge the gap between printed advertising and online retail, with the use of a pioneering new technology that brings printed advertisements to life.

Shop Direct, the parent company behind brands like Very and Littlewoods, has recently enlisted the help of a new technology called ‘augmented reality’ to help them to increase sales. Augmented reality allows smartphone users to add an interactive ‘layer’ of content over a print ad by viewing this through their augmented reality app on their phone. Users would scan a print advertisement, and interactive or moving content would then be displayed.

Shop Direct is applying this technology to a new advertisement featuring Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, the interior designer. When users scan the ad using a special augmented reality app, they will be able to view a video of the designer giving tips and hints and encouraging viewers to shop online.

Shop Direct’s retail director spoke about this new technology and its application for the company, saying that by using exclusive, interactive video content they will see printed publications brought to life, helping the company to push further the cross-media engagement with their brands and increasing both traffic and conversions.

This new use of technology is a good example of how full colour printing can be brought to life using technology. Local print shops in Altrincham and other areas in the vicinity of Shop Direct’s Speke-based headquarters may even be inspired to try combining print and digital technology themselves on future projects.